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Face the Music


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Audio CD, September 3, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Face the Music [Audio CD] Duke, George

Amazon.com

To quote an early George Duke album title, these 10 tracks are "liberated fantasies," as for the first time in 25 years he's not recording for a multinational corporation. Free to display all sides of his musicianship, instead of aiming for one subset of jazz or the other, Duke has easily produced his best album in a decade. He digs into his fusion past with "Let's Roll" and "Another Way to Look at It," and there's his mid-'70s "Dukey Stick" persona, jamming with bassist Christian McBride on the deep funk of "Creepin'" and the aptly titled James Brown-influenced "Ain't It Funky Now." His take on '90s music that satisfied both the smooth jazz and contemporary jazz crowd are also prevalent on both "Guess You're Not the One" and the ballad "Close to You," which features his underrated falsetto voice. Duke even lifts a monologue from his late mentor, Cannonball Adderley, on "Black Messiah," a tune that has the feel of the late '60s, when the soul-jazz era was morphing into fusion. Face the Music is Duke turning into a mirror and the music produced can paraphrased by the title of an early album, Faces in Reflection. --Mark Ruffin

1. The Black Messiah (Part Two)
2. Chillin'
3. My Piano
4. Guess You're Not The One
5. Let's Roll
6. Ain't It Funky Now
7. Close To You
8. Another Way To Look At It
9. Creepin'
10. 10 Mile Jog

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bizarre Planet
  • ASIN: B00006I0D5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,207 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By duce on November 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the ONE for George. The CD where he has total freedom to do whatever he wants to do and you hear it in every single track. He picked the BEST musicians in the business and went wild! Black Messiah is a pretty smooth tune with an old feel from the old "smoky room" jazz club days, Chillin is an awesome song with a nice "tap your foot rhythm"...My Piano clearly demonstrates why he is the "Master of the Game", Let's Roll is too much for the normal ear...you will not believe your ears. The balance of this CD is as exceptional as the beginning. The most noticable quality of this CD is, of course, the unbelievable musicianship and how this band he assembled ignited some of his most exceptional piano playing.
This was GOOOOODDDD! Man, I'm glad he's producing under his own label. This is a must for any jazz enthusiast.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps its because George recorded this one on his own independent record label. Who knows... However, had I not been out to LA (where I heard it played often) I would not have even know about the CD as it has gotten no airplay on any stations in the New York area. At least I have not heard anything yet! What a shame. The world of Jazz has been so tired and boring lately and this is the shot in the arm it needed. Cool and funky innovative grooves throughout with some nice contemporary jazz songs. It's a shame I don't hear it in NY. Also, I was a little disappointed with the liner notes - no copyright date information or the kind of information you would like to see on each song, but overall, a really a great CD to add to your collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andre' S Grindle on November 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It's taken me well over ten listens to this album to appreciate
just how FANTASTIC every cut on "Face The Music" is!The opening
"Black Messiah" showcases slow burning funk using acoutsic bass
and Duke's understand GRAND piano playing.And that "understatement" carries over into a series of long,superbly
crafted funk such as "Ain't It Funky Now","Let's Roll" and a
fantastic nod to his elaborate MPS days on "Another Way To look
At It".As as always a certain Brazillian flavor touches several
of these numbers.You'd think that after all these years Duke
would start to run out of steam but he's only getting better!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Hamer on December 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD really highlights George Duke's mastery of the piano. A lot of folks tend to make the mistake of dismissing George as "multi-keyboardist/producer/songwriter". On this CD,the brother just plays the piano! The band on this CD is pretty tough, too. Especially Christian McBride, who contributes some serious basslines and solos to this effort. It's good to see real musicianship returning to the music industry....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John L. Hughes, Jr. on September 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Duke's best album in years is the first release on the musician's own BPM (Big Piano Music) label. Freedom from major label expectations has rejuvinated Mr. Duke. His playing is livlier (especially on the brazilian/gospel piece "My Piano" and the smooth, but funky "Let's Roll"), and the smooth instrumentals "Guess You're Not The One" and "Chillin'" are commercial, yet have more than enough soul to successfully avoid being "wallpaper music." Musicianship is top-notch throughout, especially the creative use of the acoustic bass to add character to these smooth/funky/fusion compositions (the bass solos are definitely worth checking out).
Other winners on this set include "Close To You", the only all-out vocal piece on this album, the humorous "Creepin'" and the frantic closer "Ten Mile Jog". A big thumbs up also to Mr. Duke for creatively sampling an old Cannonball Adderly monologue in the opening soul-jazz smoker "Black Messiah, Part Two". Fans of Duke's smooth jazz work and albums from his days as an MPS recording artist (early 1970s) are in for a treat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Elliott on June 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album (CD) is an eclectic mixture from Ole School Funk, like Ain't It Funky Now and Creepin' to acid-funk jazz with songs like Another Way To Look At It to straight acid-jazz with Ten Miles Jog.

Duke begins with a hip live performance of The Black Messiah (Part II). My personal favorites are the mesmerizing sounds of Chillin' and Let's Roll (Dukes tribute to 9/11). These transcendental songs remind me of "Look What We Started" from Illusions and "Sunrise" from the Snapshot CD's - spellbinding.

The accompaniment of Christian McBride on acoustic bass and John Roberts and Lenny Castro on percussions add an incredibly hypnotic dimension to Dukes non-accoustic raptures.

There's a little bit of something on this album (CD) for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bob Vasquez on October 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Face the Music is a George Duke mosaic that expresses the many diverse facets of a great artist's soul! There's soul, there's jazz, there's latin, there's blues and even a touch of the old Zappa in this chapter. George is one of the GREAT jazz/fusion keyboardists whose performance is solidly supported by Chris McBride and Little John Roberts who build a pocket SO deep their keencaps are surely scratched raw. Every track is different and interesting, something for EVERYONE! This is truly great music! Excuse me, I gotta go listen to it AGAIN!
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